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When Can You Sue Your Employer After a Construction Accident in New York?

Updated: Jan 30, 2023

Construction accidents can be devastating, leaving workers with long-term medical issues and financial burdens. If you have been injured in a construction accident in New York, you may be wondering if you can sue your employer for compensation. The answer is complicated and depends on the specifics of your case.

If you or your loved one was involved in a construction accident in New York, do not hesitate to contact Leitner Varughese PLLC. Our New York City construction accident lawyers will provide you with the attention and compassion you deserve and ensure that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled under the law.

Can You Sue Your Employer?

In most circumstances, it is impossible to sue an employer for an injury sustained at work—even if it was caused by negligence or recklessness—in New York. This is because the state requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which covers any injury sustained while on the job. According to the official website of the City of New York, injured employees usually cannot sue their employers when workers’ comp insurance is in place.

However, there are some exceptions that permit a worker to take legal action against their employer even if they have received workers’ compensation benefits.

These exceptions include the following:

  • When an employer intentionally causes harm

  • When an employer’s negligence is so severe that it rises above “ordinary negligence”

  • When third parties are also responsible for the accident and injuries (i.e., subcontractors)

In these cases, a worker may be able to seek damages through a civil lawsuit instead of or in addition to receiving workers’ compensation benefits. It is important to note that filing a civil suit does not prevent you from collecting workers’ compensation benefits. However, any money awarded from the lawsuit will be deducted from the total amount of compensation you receive through workers’ comp Insurance.

How Do I Know if My Case Qualifies as an Exception?

It can be difficult to determine if your case qualifies as one of the exceptions listed above without consulting with an experienced attorney who specializes in workplace accidents and workers’ rights laws in New York State. An attorney will be able to assess your case and advise whether or not you should pursue legal action against your employer. They will also help ensure that all deadlines are met and provide advice throughout the entire process.

Why Should You Consider Suing Your Employer?

Filing a lawsuit against your employer has some advantages and disadvantages. First of all, suing your employer could help you maximize your compensation because you may be able to recover damages that are otherwise not available through workers’ compensation. However, filing a lawsuit can be time-consuming and costly, which you should keep in mind when deciding whether or not you should sue your employer after a construction accident in New York.

Discuss Your Legal Options with Leitner Varughese PLLC

If you were injured in a construction accident, understanding your rights when it comes to seeking compensation can make all the difference. Depending on certain factors outlined above, you may be able to sue your employer after a construction accident instead of or in addition to receiving workers’ compensation benefits.

Consult with an experienced attorney to explore your legal options following a construction accident. Our NYC construction accident lawyers at Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC can provide knowledgeable legal advice throughout each step of the process, ensuring that you get full justice and recover all damages incurred due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness. Schedule a free case review with our attorneys by calling 212-671-1110.


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